Items tagged with Valve

Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for PC games. As such, its monthly hardware and software surveys provide a good way to put your finger on the pulse of the PC gaming sector in general, and to identify trends in the hardware space. Looking at the results for February, we can see that AMD is gaining ground in both CPUs and GPUs, as it is no doubt benefiting from newer architectures on both fronts. Starting with CPUs, the percentage of Steam users running AMD hardware is on the rise, after dipping slightly in January. AMD gained just over a full percentage point, and now accounts for 9.09 percent of all gamers on Steam. Meanwhile, AMD's rise coincides almost exactly with Intel's... Read more...
Some big names are ponying up millions of dollars to own a piece of eMagin, a producer of miniature organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays that have mostly been deployed to military, medical, and industrial fields. In a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), eMagin announced a new stock issuance with Apple, LG, Valve, and others investing over $10 million into the relatively small outfit. The company released a subsequent statement indicating an upsized $11.5 million underwritten public offering, of which it expects to net $10.6 million. It intends to use the proceeds for "working capital and general corporate purposes." More specifically, eMagin has been increasingly... Read more...
Given some of the major mergers and acquisitions we've seen in the past five, or even ten years, it's becoming increasingly difficult to be truly impressed or shocked about a move. But envision a headline saying that Microsoft acquired Valve. If you were a PC gamer, your heart would probably skip a few beats, and after recovering from the fainting, you'd be hazily hitting up Snopes. This exact acquisition has been floating around rumorspace for a very long time, but recently, a report that Microsoft was looking to acquire either EA or Valve began to make the possibility feel more real. Either would be an enormous buy for Microsoft, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that the company... Read more...
It is customary to reflect on the past, even if just for a brief moment, when a new year rolls around. So it goes with Valve, which has compiled a series of lists highlighting the best selling games of 2017 on Steam. They include the top selling games in terms of revenue, top selling new releases, best selling VR titles, top Early Access graduates, and the top played games, the latter of which is measured by the highest peak of simultaneous players. Unfortunately Valve did not go into granular detail, so instead of ranking the best selling games from top to bottom with a gross revenue figure attached, it broke them down into award categories—Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. There doesn't... Read more...
Valve's love affair with Bitcoin is going through a rough patch even though the cryptocurrency was trading at $10,000 in late September and even higher today. Valve announced that as of December 6 it had decided to stop supporting Bitcoin as a payment method for games on its Steam platform. The specific reasons that Valve says it won’t take Bitcoin anymore are high fees and volatility. Valve wrote, "In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network. For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year,... Read more...
Playerunknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) has turned out to be a massive hit for the developers and it is one of the most popular games in the world right now. Currently, the game is only offered on Steam for PC gamers, but a console version is in the works. PUBG recently passed 1.5 million concurrent users on Steam, which put it at over one hundred thousand more concurrent players that Valve's own Dota 2 free-to-play game has been able to rack up. Dota 2 hit its concurrent player record of 1,291,320 in March of 2016 and hasn't surpassed that record since them. In the history of Steam, only Dota 2 and PUBG have passed the million concurrent player mark. PUBG's latest record is a huge gain compared to... Read more...
Sometimes in the entertainment world, we don't receive all the answers we want. Take the '80s flick "The Last Starfighter"; geeks of that generation have waited for a sequel to that film for decades. The same can be said for the Half-Life franchise, a hugely popular game franchise from Valve and from all indications, the company simply walked away from it. The last installment in the Half-Life universe was Half-Life 2 Episode 2. We had been promised a follow-up Episode 3 that should have published around Christmas a decade ago. Christmas 2007 came and went with no new Half-Life Episode and no word on why Valve left us all hanging. Marc Laidlaw, the sole writer responsible for both Half-Life and... Read more...
A pricing war has been initiated in the virtual reality (VR) headset market. Facebook struck the first blow back in July, and now HTC is getting in on the discount bandwagon thanks to a $200 price cut on its Vive VR headset. In this case, the price falls from a lofty $799 down to a slightly more manageable $599. While any price cut will likely be appreciated by the buying public, it’s hard to argue that $600 is still a lot of money to pay for VR immersion. Add on the cost of a high-end gaming PC to take full advantage of the Vive, and you’ll looking at $1,500 or more investment. However, HTC believes that it still offers a compelling VR solution with the Vive. “When customers purchase Vive, they... Read more...
If you happened to tune into Valve's "The International" Dota 2 esports tournament, you were treated to an announcement that seemingly came out of nowhere. Without any prior rumors to ruin the surprise, Valve teased a new game called Artifact, which is a card game themed after Dota 2. Beyond that tidbit, there is not a whole to share about the announcement, other than the short video. What little we know at this point is that Artifact is coming out sometime in 2018. That much Valve was willing to share. During the tournament (and right before the final match of Day 2), host Sean "Day9" Plott also revealed that the Dota 2 card came will comprise three boards and involve building barracks, creeps,... Read more...
Last Thursday was a banner moment for honest gamers, and a ban hammer moment for tens of thousands of rotten cheaters. That is because Valve lifted its mighty VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) ban hammer and with one mighty blow, it obliterated more than 40,000 Steam gamers who had been caught cheating. It was the the largest single-day ban in the history of the digital distribution service.The unusual spike can be seen in the Steam Database. It shows a relatively steady line of around 3,500 bans per day (give or take a thousand on any given day) up until June 6, the day after Steam's Summer Sale came to a conclusion. There is a noticeable spike on that day, followed by a relatively normal number of bans... Read more...
Augmented and virtual reality is starting to take off now that we have computing hardware that is powerful enough to provide a compelling experience. However, interacting with a virtual environment can be a bit tricky if you don’t have the proper controllers to supplement your experience.The Oculus Rift has its Touch controllers, and the HTC Vive has the Wand. Now, Valve is looking towards the next logical progression when it comes to VR controllers, which it calls “Knuckles”. Unlike other VR controllers, Knuckles can independently track all five of your fingers thanks to capacitive sensors embedded in the controller handle, face buttons and trigger buttons. You can look at the diagrams below... Read more...
Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) is upping its security game. DOTA 2 ranked matchmaking will soon require players to enter a phone number upon registration and Valve hopes that this will cut down on the amount of “smurfing”. First off, what is “smurfing”? In the DOTA world, smurfing is when a player creates a new account after already having made one, and recalibrates the account once a player reaches level thirteen. The player essentially develops the account in order to play at a level lower than their actual mmr.Image from: Wikimedia Commons, ZilsonzxcSome people sell the smurf account after boosting it, use it on trading because something has happened to their main account, or use... Read more...
In the VR space for the PC, it is largely a two-horse race between Facebook-owned Oculus and its Rift headset and the HTC Vive, the latter of which has the backing of Valve. Interestingly enough, it appears that Valve is also working with LG Electronics on yet another VR headset solution, one that will utilize SteamVR Tracking and the OpenVR platform. Perhaps a price war is not too far off.That is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. It remains to be seen how pricing for VR hardware will shake out in 2017, but in terms of available solutions, LG is going to be joining Oculus and HTC. The company is planning to show off a prototype at the Game Developers Conference that runs from today until March... Read more...
Five years after announcing Steam Greenlight, Valve today said that it will be pulling the plug on the “democratic” system that allows Steam users to choose which game is worthy enough to be vetted for inclusion via the software distribution platform. Valve says that it has learned some key lessons from Greenlight, which allowed it to progress past its “heavily curated” roots for third-party games to now include over 100 Greenlight titles that have each generated at least $1 million in revenue. However, Greenlight has not provided a direct enough path between developers and the broader gaming audience, which is why Valve is shuttering the service. In its place, Valve will introduce Steam Direct,... Read more...
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